What is the difference between a routine and a schedule?
As mothers our days can quickly turn into a runaway train. Figuring out how to direct our time is hard. We try schedules and routines. Time blocking maybe even started then stopped for us.
The idea of routines though can put an additional layer of stress and restriction on our lives, which is not what we want. Here are some fundamental differences of routines and schedules, as well as how to make them work for you!
Let's simplify routines, habits and how we manage our time.
The difference between a routine and a schedule
A routine is something that you do on repeat. This thing that you do on repeat can either help, or hurt you. Maybe you are in the routine of spending your first moments of waking on social media. Maybe you are in the routine of not doing the dishes after a meal. Or maybe you are in the routine of brushing your teeth every morning.
My point is, we all have routines, whether we realize it or not.
The important thing is to make sure that your routines are working for you, not against you.
A schedule is something that needs to happen at a specific time or day. This is challenging for me as a mom, but also who I am as a person. I resist too much structure, however even schedules serve a purpose.
I need to pay the house payment at the same time every month. And I need to get my kids teeth cleaned routinely at incremental times. But just like routines, they need to be schedules that serve me. If I am drinking a bottle of wine every night on schedule, that's likely not a schedule that is serving me.
Figure out your “simplifiers”
Simplifiers are the things you need to do in order to make your life easier. Things like washing the dishes immediately after a meal. This makes dishes easier than waiting until the sink is overflowing.
It can also be bringing everything out of the car upon arriving home. Or packing the kids' lunches and backpacks for school the night before so you aren't rushed in the morning.
Brainstorm 5 simple things you can start doing that will make your life easier. Then start doing those small, simple things on repeat.
How to have a routine when your life is unpredictable
As moms, hardly anything stays the same. It's like once we master the stage of life and development our kids are in, everything changes. How are we supposed to create routines we can do predictably, when nothing is predictable?
It goes back to the simplifiers. The simplifiers are the things in your life that you have to do, every day no matter what. Dishes need to be done, the kids backpacks need to be packed.
You might as well carve out time and energy to do this things before your desperate and scrambling.
Routines give you freedom, and do the hard work of life for you.
Does that mean you don't have to do the dishes? Heck no. It does mean though that you know the dishes will be mostly taken care of right after you're done eating. It's not going to be perfect but even if you only get half of them done, that will make them twice as easy to finish later on.
I know it's hard to prioritize these little things in your life, and they aren't glamorous but here's the thing…
If you don't do it life still carries on, and it will keep compounding all the things you have to do on top of it.
When that compounding happens, we end up with even less time and energy to give to the things and people that matter most to us.
Stop fighting to routines, figure out your simplifiers and start implementing them in your life today!
You deserve this simplified life.